Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Harms The Brain: Northwestern University Research

Summary:People with unrelenting pain are often depressed, anxious and have difficulty making simple decisions. Researchers have identified a clue that may explain how suffering long-term pain could trigger these other pain-related symptoms. Researchers found that in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex associated with emotion fails to deactivate when it should. It’s stuck on full throttle, wearing out neurons and altering their connections.

People with unrelenting pain don’t only suffer from the non-stop sensation of throbbing pain. They also have trouble sleeping, are often depressed, anxious and even have difficulty making simple decisions.

In a new study, investigators at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine have identified a clue that may explain how suffering long-term pain could trigger these other pain-related symptoms.

Researchers found that in a healthy brain all the regions exist in a state of equilibrium. When one region is active, the others quiet down. But in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex mostly associated with emotion “never shuts up,” said Dante Chialvo, lead author and associate research professor of physiology at the Feinberg School. “The areas that are affected fail to deactivate when they should.”

They are stuck on full throttle, wearing out neurons and altering their connections to each other.

This is the first demonstration of brain disturbances in chronic pain patients not directly related to the sensation of pain.

Click Here to Visit the Store and find Much More….

Chialvo and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of people with chronic low back pain and a group of pain-free volunteers while both groups were tracking a moving bar on a computer screen. The study showed the pain sufferers performed the task well but “at the expense of using their brain differently than the pain-free group,” Chialvo said.

READ  Microglia and Fibromyalgia: How our Brains may be the key to Fibromyalgia

When certain parts of the cortex were activated in the pain-free group, some others were deactivated, maintaining a cooperative equilibrium between the regions. This equilibrium also is known as the resting state network of the brain. In the chronic pain group, however, one of the nodes of this network did not quiet down as it did in the pain-free subjects.

This constant firing of neurons in these regions of the brain could cause permanent damage, Chialvo said. “We know when neurons fire too much they may change their connections with other neurons and or even die because they can’t sustain high activity for so long,” he explained.

‘If you are a chronic pain patient, you have pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every minute of your life,” Chialvo said. “That permanent perception of pain in your brain makes these areas in your brain continuously active. This continuous dysfunction in the equilibrium of the brain can change the wiring forever and could hurt the brain.”

Chialvo hypothesized the subsequent changes in wiring “may make it harder for you to make a decision or be in a good mood to get up in the morning. It could be that pain produces depression and the other reported abnormalities because it disturbs the balance of the brain as a whole.”

He said his findings show it is essential to study new approaches to treat patients not just to control their pain but also to evaluate and prevent the dysfunction that may be generated in the brain by the chronic pain.

READ  Difficulties With Phone Conversations in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS

The study will be published Feb. 6 in The Journal of Neuroscience. Chialvo’s collaborators in this project are Marwan Baliki, a graduate student; Paul Geha, a post-doctoral fellow, and Vania Apkarian, professor of physiology and of anesthesiology, all at the Feinberg School.

For More Information Related Fibromyalgia Visit below sites:

References:

Fibromyalgia Contact Us Directly

Click here to Contact us Directly on Inbox

Fibro Women Blogs

Click here to Get the latest Fibro Women Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Caring Updates

Click here to Get the latest Women with Fibromyalgia Updates

Click here to Get the latest Chronically Ill Updates

Chronic Woman Blogs

Click here to Get the latest Chronic Woman Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibro Mom Blog Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Home Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Journey Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Resources Updates

Chronic Illness Blogs

Click here to Get the latest Chronic illness Updates

Click here to Get the latest Chronic Cure Updates

Click here to Get the latest Chronic Health Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibro Warrior Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Awareness Updates

Official Fibromyalgia Blogs

Click here to Get the latest Healthizes Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Center Updates

Click here to Get the latest Fibromyalgia Updates

Click here to Get the latest Chronic Illness updates

Fibromyalgia Stores

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Store

Click here to Visit Disability Store

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Shop

READ  BLUE BADGE PARKING PERMITS TO BE ROLLED OUT TO PEOPLE WITH HIDDEN DISABILITIES, GOVERNMENT PROPOSES

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Showroom

Fibromyalgia Social

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Facebook Page

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Facebook Group

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Instagram Page

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Youtube Channel

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Tiktok Page

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Twitter Page

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Quora Community

Click here to Visit Fibromyalgia Pinterest Board

Story Source:

Materials provided by Northwestern UniversityNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Leave a Reply